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Whitmer reviewing potential reopening of still closed Michigan businesses

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

Lansing — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is working with the Department of Health and Human Services to reevaluate policies that have kept some Michigan businesses closed nearly five months after she initially ordered a stay-home mandate. 

The assessment may yield an announcement as soon as next week, Whitmer said at a Wednesday press conference. 

Among the businesses still closed in the lower regions of Michigan are bowling alleys, fitness centers and movie theaters. 

"We’ve asked them (HHS) to articulate all of the businesses that still have zero presence in terms of economic reopening, where we can do another assessment on risk mitigation to determine if we might consider making some improvements in the policy," Whitmer said. 

"I would anticipate I would be able to share a little more on that front with you next week as that work is happening right now," she said. 

Whitmer initially ordered the closures of most nonessential businesses March 23 with her Stay Home Stay Safe order as the state struggled to control mounting coronavirus cases and deaths. 

She has gradually loosened restrictions on different businesses, including manufacturing in May and lower Michigan restaurants in June

Regions 6 and 8, which are comprised of the Upper Peninsula and 17 northern Michigan counties, generally have operated under looser restrictions that have allowed them to already reopen cinemas and fitness centers.

However, Whitmer last month ordered the closure of some bars in the northern regions. The closure was contained in the same order in which she ordered the re-opening of Detroit's three casinos at 15% capacity. 

eleblanc@detroitnews.com